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How to Be Your Baby's First Teacher

Being a mom or dad for the very first time is tough work! There are feedings and diaper changings and swaddling and crying and more feedings and diaper changings...and sometimes it is all too easy to become consumed by the monotonous grind of it all.  But for your baby, everything you do is magical! They are paying avid attention to you whenever you talk, read and sing, making you your baby's first teacher. 

First teacherIt may seem like an overstatement to call talking, reading and singing magic, but many scientists agree the changes that occur in a newborn baby's brain when they are exposed to these simple things are quite astounding.  A baby's brain is growing and changing at its quickest pace during these first few years, and everything your baby sees, feels and hears can affect his or her development.  Research shows the more words a baby hears in the first few years of life, the more words he or she will be able to say when entering school.  As a pediatrician participating in Reach Out and Read, I see firsthand how books and language can powerfully impact a family.  


Also, babies are never too young for their first book - whether it's your morning newspaper or simply naming pictures in a colorful board book, these words keep feeing your baby's brain. In fact, reading aloud is such an important first activity to do together, that the American Academy of Pediatrics recently declared it an essential component of pediatric care starting from birth!   Learn more on the AAP's website.

It's never too late to start talking, reading and singing to your baby, but more importantly, it's never too early! 

 

Written by Dr. Amy Emerson, Pediatrician, Tulsa, Oklahoma at 15:05

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